ASTC Olympic Triathlon April 10, 2016
The Olympic distance triathlon race consisting of a 1.5KM Swim, 40KM Bike, and 10KM run holds a special place for me. After all, it was my first ever triathlon racing alongside Dick and Rick Hoyts in Lowell, Massachusetts back in July 2010. Having only bought my first ever road bike, a Specialized Tarmac Pro, 1 month before, and only having swam 7 times in total, all in open ponds and reservoirs near the start of the Boston Marathon course in Hopkinton, MA, the non-wetsuit swim down and back a dirty looking river was the first test. But with the support of my family to see me embark down a path that has now taken me to incredible places throughout the world, I completed the task at hand. It took me 2hr33min going 36:12 Swim, 1:09:31 Bike, 47:30 Run which was good enough for 4th in my division!
Fast forward shy of 6 years and I once again embarked on a race that I consider a true endurance test. It is challenging and just enough to sting but long enough to be a highly rewarding experience.
5:30AM Wake up, legs very sore from the prior day run. 2 pieces of white bread with nut butter and jam, medium red bull, and final preparations. I left the house at 6AM for a 20min bike warm up since my legs felt like crap. Lights on, it was still dark. I got to the ASALC and was not warmed up but at least got the legs moving a bit. Organized transition, chatted to my peeps, and shot bloks down with 15min to go. I jumped in the outdoor 50m pool after the race briefing and swam 100meters to warm up the arms. Put the Garmin into Triathlon mode and kissed wifey who was sharing my lane. 3-2-1-GO.
Most of the races this season I had planned and sat on Fi’s feet to save that 10% in the draft and she has typically been faster than me. Even the night before I was looking to probably do that. But for whatever reason I just said to stick to each side and we went off right next to each other. We didn’t go out with a crazy dash but just settled right into our pace. We both had our Scody full piece tri suits on which have been great for the swim and much more drag resistant in racing. We were keeping pace on each other and Fi didn’t get more than half a length at any time as we were back and forth in hitting arms nsync since we have the same technique and cadence. My form felt incredible with a slow stroke rate, length, and high elbows. I have a better tumble turn than Fi and usually gain half a length in my flip but even chose not to flip on every turn. 7:47 for the first 500. 15:38 for the 1K. We were doing great. It was Fi and I at the front of the race. I still felt great and with 200-300meters to go, Fi started falling off. I kept going and with 100meters to go I kicked it up just a notch. (Of course this really translates to just consistent pacing since it’s way harder as time goes along!) 23:39 or 8:01 for the 3rd 500. Out of the water first and leading the race!
I was 29 seconds slower than the Nov-2015 Olympic but I may have drafted in that race and it was only 2 weeks till Ironman Western Australia so was very fit and the 6 months of fatigue were shedding. But 2seconds/100m is not much anyway. What I can say is that I felt strong, light, and fast today and felt like I had a lot more in me.
Transition was quick, said great job to Fi who was only a length back on me at the swim exit.
What I love about this course and major kudos to Jason Dawson who really got this new course in place is that its pretty much 40KM Spot on. 24.76 miles vs 24.80 miles so that is awesome! What was not awesome, was my time or effort. My power was only 258NP which is only 3 watts great than what I held at Ironman Western Australia in December. And the HR? A freaken joke. 128. This is essentially zone 1! I did the ride in 1hr 13sec which is really bad for me considering what I have been doing in races. Even on Friday I held power of 279 at 41.3KPH for a 36min Strava effort. This was 1:33 slower than November and considering I didn’t even get my HR into zone 3, pretty obvious of my fatigue level. I held 288 last year when fresh. It was nice that my mates complimented me and said I was looking fast out there but there is now an expectation of 40KPH and to not hit that was eh. I saw most of my competitors out there and Fi was about 5 minutes behind me by Lap 2 or 3/4th through the leg. It’s always good to know because she is my main competition these days. And no, I’m not going to let up because she is my wife; I am coaching this girl to the Ironman World Championships this year! On the bike I had ARO Caffeine, 1 package of bloks and some mouthfuls of Endura. Waste of weight since I left 3/4 ths of the bottle filled.
In T2 I sat down to put on socks for the 10K run.
Out on the run my legs felt heavy just as they had on the bike. I couldn’t develop any power or push the HR high but the pace was on around 4:33/km which is around goal Ironman race pace. When I saw this and realized I was going to again be much slower than my Nov-15 run performance, I looked at the bright side; I was practicing Ironman race pace and considering the week of training I had up until that point including a 3hr 38.8KM run the day before and a 118KM Wednesday ride, it was safe to say that this is exactly how the last 10KM of the marathon in 9 weeks would feel. My pace was very consistent throughout and I had a gel at 10min and 30min. I also saw my friends whom I basically coach and both did awesome including Lynn with a sub 2:30 right behind FiFi! The run course changed from the Figure 8 of November to the typical loop course today. This resulted in a run 400 meters shorter than 10KM. So my 43:44 would surely have been slower if it were a full 10KM but I was still glad to finish.
So my time was 4:37 slower than last year but I know it’s not because I’m not as fit but the fatigue is high and I’m not rested. But in 2 weeks we have the Tavis Johannsen Ultra 2K/60K/15K and I’m looking to be fresh for that since it’s at the end of a rest and test week! The race in general was well supported and everyone seemed to have fun. And for $10AUD or $7USD to enter again, a joke. People have no idea how good we have it here! An Olympic in the US? Probably $100 EASY! So thanks to ASTC for holding the event.
But my day was not over
Fi had to go to work and then study, she’d do her long ride on Monday. As for me? 8min bike ride home, walk Sydney for 15min and then 5 hours on the trainer since I was too lazy to go out into the sun. I biked 160KM and had a much better ride than the 6 hour trainer ride the week before when I was very hung over from the night before when Karen, Fi, and our team was nominated for 3 NT Sports Awards. 178watts last week to 198 watts today and even the TSS of 201.6 was higher than the 197 last week! So what I learned is to not get drunk! But, if you’re going to do it, you might as well go all out and have a very memorable night with your best friends! After the ride I took a 3minute shower made a recovery drink: Chia Seeds in Almond Milk, Mangoes, Banana, Endurox R4 (nearly done, finally), and Brown Rice Protein. I slammed that down as I drove the 5min to church to thank the Lord for an amazing day. Then to the food store for some Whole Foods of the bean/pasta soup I was going to make Fiona for dinner as she was slaving away at her PC. But another 30minutes at Anytime Fitness to get some final Core in for the day. Make dinner, have wine, Dark Chocolate 70%, and then in the tub for the last 2 hours!
Sunday: 8hrs18min of total training: 1.5K swim, 213K Cycling, 11.9K Running, 30min Core.
The Week: 25.5 hours of total training: 11.9K Swim, 438K Cycling, 84K Running, 1hr45min non leg training.